Quality control measurements for smooth surfaces

Laser camera combination technology is ideal for surface measurement in many industries. The camera detects a laser line projected onto an object at a specific angle. Height and width information is determined by triangulation.

04/10/2013


A laser camera system can measure along an edge for robot guidance. Courtesy: Pepperl+Fuchs

Many industries require surface measurements, and laser camera combination technology can help. A camera detects a laser line projected onto an object, and then a triangulation calculation determines height and width. Many industries have applications that require smooth, sealed surfaces without gaps, ruts, or protrusions. These industries include glass, metal processing, plastics, tire, automotive, aerospace, and even highway road construction. When it comes to meeting the needs of these different industries, quality checks and process control based on measurement play a vital role.  

In the past, lasers, mechanical measuring devices, and even wedges were used to check quality, but usually just as a spot check. Depending on the application, 100% inspection was too slow and required a large capital investment. A profile scanner, for example, has historically been very expensive and the units being scanned generally didn’t have an interface to decipher all the analog data produced by the scanner. Generally, a self-developed interface and HMI were required and the cost went up. If a company then wanted to capture the data and chart it for process control purposes, database development became necessary. 

Surface quality control

Many companies are being asked to invest in ensuring the quality of the products they are producing. For example, the automotive industry is under the watchful eye of the consumer. Consumers expect each body panel on a vehicle to line up flush with the body panel next to it. Gap and flush measurement for quality control can take place while the body panels are placed onto the vehicle, or as a spot check on each vehicle. Consumers don’t want leaking sun roofs, glass panoramic roofs, or windshields. Leak protection depends on measuring the glue bead being applied for thickness.

Automobile panels can be positioned using a laser camera system to accomplish best-fit placement. Courtesy: Pepperl+Fuchs

The good news is that the demand for quality control measurement has sparked a whole new set of technologies entering the market at reasonable prices. Some laser systems now use a camera in combination with a laser for on-the-fly measurement at .01 mm. Some offerings use a simple browser for system setup; others have computer software that sets up a server or PC with a human-machine interface (HMI) and databases ready to go.

Laser camera combination technology is ideal for many industries, including the ones mentioned earlier. The camera detects a laser line projected onto an object at a specific angle. Height and width information is then determined by the triangulation method. Depending on the manufacturer and application, various distances are available. One company uses this technology to measure the depth of ruts in roads, measuring 4.2 meters wide at highway speeds day or night.

Put quality control measuring to work using many available options.

- Todd Belt is systems sales manager – VMT, Pepperl+Fuchs. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, mhoske@cfemedia.com.

Online

See article "Laser light sensor helps quality control" below

www.pepperl-fuchs.us 

See other machine vision coverage at www.controleng.com/machinevision.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me